FILIPINO journeymen will now have a lesser chance of landing a job in the Asean Basketball League starting this year.
A source told Spin.ph that the league has decided to decrease the maximum number of Asean imports per team from three to two starting in the 2014 season that is set to open on July 16.
Spin.ph had also learned from informed sources that there will be no Philippine team in the ABL for this year after several Philippine companies declined an invitation after San Miguel Beer disbanded following its 2013 title victory.
The decrease in the number of Asean imports is seen as a blow to Filipino basketball players who are still out of jobs. As it is, at least 10 jobs have been lost with the absence of a Philippine team in the Southeast Asian professional basketball league.
The dearth in ABL jobs, however, is expected to be tempered by the arrival of three new teams in the PBA, which will mean a minimum 36 job openings for pro players, unrestricted free agents, and rookies.
Aside from hiring two world imports, each ABL team is allowed to recruit Asean imports or reinforcements coming from the Southeast Asian region.
More often than not, the Asean imports of each team are Filipino basketball players — either homegrown or even those based abroad — due to the country’s reputation as the basketball hotbed in the region.
Still, the demand for a Filipino import is still very high.
Leo Avenido of Alaska, who won the league MVP in 2012, and fellow former ABL cager Jerick Canada of Jumbo Plastic Linoleum are reportedly being lured once again to return to the regional league with the opening of the league fast approaching.
Fil-American Stanley Pringle, meanwhile, is expected to return to the Satria Muda Britama, formerly the Indonesia Warriors, for the coming season of the league.